Today’s ICA Daily highlights INFERNO, a collective founded by artist and DJ Lewis G. Burton. In January 2020 INFERNO brought a blur of rave, goth and pop culture, experimental performance and queer porn, as the first collective to host a late-night programme at the ICA.
INFERNO is back at the ICA via Cinema 3 on Saturday 5 December, with an online day-long seminar curated by Lewis G. Burton.
INFERNO is an incredible community of queers, artists, freaks and weirdos. We’re an art platform, a queer techno rave, a community space and a family. INFERNO was a party born out of frustration for London’s dwindling gay scene and looking for something more queer and dark. I had the realisation that the thing that I wanted would not happen unless I was the one to do it and along came INFERNO, the fruit of my loins – my baby. It is my frustrations, my love(s), hope, dreams as well as that of the extended family we've come to accumulate over the past 6 years. Artists within the community – myself included – were fed up at the lack of opportunity we had as well as the constant rejection we would face from institutions and art spaces so using INFERNO as a space to platform artists, pay them for their time and share their wonderful talents with attendees. Creating INFERNO was a nod to the churches that clubs, cabarets and bars have often been for the queer community throughout history and keeping that tradition alive.
As an offshoot from the main party and events, I created an annual seminar called the INFERNO Summit. A space that’s always been at the forefront of community engagement while leveraging a platform for artists whose underrepresented work lives outside of the underground. Usually we explore themes of queerness, nightlife and performance art but for the third INFERNO Summit we are examining the effects of the pandemic on our communities as well as our artistic and creative practices.
2020 has been heavy but I’m feeling hopeful especially navigating the traumas of this year with people who inspire me – friends, artists and other community leaders. I hope this year’s event will inspire others and give peace to our immediate community and chosen families during this difficult time we're currently facing together.
● Mykki Blanco in conversation with Sara Sassanelli ● Boychild and Wu Tsang in conversation ● Future of Queer Communities with Marum, Lady Shug, Nadine Artois chaired by Amelia Abraham ● A creatives’ guide to surviving the pandemic with Furmaan Ahmed, Rene Matíc, Sinéad O’Dwyd and Bernice Mulenga chaired by ShayShay Konno. ● Artworks by Victoria Sin, David Hoyle, Rowdy SS, Khaleb Brooks and Alexander Dodge Huber